Triathlons

Triathlons aren't just long races; they are a test of an athlete's drive and endurance. Once a person completes a triathlon, it usually sparks an obsession.


Being an outstanding athlete is essential for competing in a triathlon, but being good at math doesn't hurt either. It's a needed skill for figuring out where you rank in this competitive sport.

If you read the headlines, a triathlon might seem like a death sentence. Titles like "Sudden Death Risk Looms in Triathlons" might catch your eye, especially if you just unwittingly signed up for the big race. Is it safe to compete in a triathlon, or do you risk horrible accidents, heart failure and drowning?

If pain has ever kept you sidelined, maybe you just need to roll with it. Whether your tension requires professional attention or one of those foam rollers you see at the store, getting the body's connective tissue to loosen up could be just what you need.

Whether you're a professional athlete, recreational cyclist or kid on a bike, no one likes riding a bicycle in rain, snow or blistering heat. Stationary bikes don't help with training, so what can you do to keep your cycling skills sharp indoors?

Cyclists know more than anyone the importance of efficiency. They strive to make their bike an extension of their own body -- and focusing on cadence, or the speed at which you pedal, is an important factor in performance.

If you're an avid biker, chances are you're going to get caught in the rain a couple of times. Despite getting wet and muddy, some cyclists actually like the exhilaration of getting caught in the rain -- but the extra challenges involved call for even more caution.

Being injured doesn't mean your fitness routine has to stop. Take your workout to the pool with deep water running. But how can running in water be better for you than the real thing?

It's hard for some people to imagine staying motivated enough to swim, bike and run your way to triathlon glory, but plenty of dedicated athletes do it every year. How do they keep up the momentum to make it through all those workouts?

A picturesque run through the cool, breezy mountaintops, a potential boost in performance -- what's not to like about high altitude training? Along with the inconvenience for a large number of runners who live at sea level, high altitude training isn't for everyone.

Changing running styles is not something to be taken lightly. But if you're looking to reduce your risk of injury while emphasizing proper form, consider the benefits of the chi- and pose running techniques.

You know the expression "it's like riding a bike?" It means once you've learned how to do something, it's hard to ever forget. Unfortunately, the same goes for bad cycling habits. What's mashing, and why do training coaches frown upon it?

Training for a triathlon isn't easy, and the last thing you need is an injury to put a wrench in your plans. How can low intensity training help you meet your goals?

If you've been bitten by the triathlon bug, you're signing up for races left and right! But even if you've got the stamina to reach the finish line, how many triathlons can you safely compete in per season?

Most athletes find that massage can help with their performance. Due to thorough, rigorous workouts and a great deal of mental stress, however, triathletes in particular benefit from a good session on the massage table.

Physical strength is obviously important for athletes about to attempt a triathlon. But many argue that mental toughness is just as important. How do you prepare your mind for the event?

So you've been working out for months and eating right day in, day out. Now it's race day. How do you keep your energy up during the grueling, three-sport race?

If you enter a swimming race, you probably want to give 100 percent the entire time, right? Some coaches don't think so. Negative split swimming involves finishing the second half of a race faster than the first.

Triathlons are becoming more popular by the day. Despite the sport's grueling nature, more than a million people signed up for a traditional triathlon in 2009. But what about triathletes who want something a little different -- or tougher?

Triathletes allow themselves an off-season to recuperate and rebuild even stronger for the next season of competition. But is it OK to stray far from fighting-trim when there are no races on the horizon?

Humans have been swimming in lakes and oceans far longer than they've been swimming in pools, and there remains a certain primal attraction to open water swimming. A far cry from clean, orderly time trials -- open water swimming is a messy free-for-all of kicking feet and splashing arms.

Cyclists are only as good as their pedaling, so what's the best pedaling technique for both power and speed? And does the type of pedal you use really make that much difference?

In preparing for triathlons, people often go to great lengths to give themselves a competitive edge. While many tend to overlook aspects such as core body strength and flexibility, the smart triathlete will utilize Pilates to build a powerful core and balance the body.

If you're struggling to improve your running performance, you might want to think a little more about surfaces. Although it's easier to go fast on hard surfaces like concrete, soft surfaces actually give you a more vigorous workout.

With all of the swimming, biking and running triathletes do in preparation for the big race, you'd think that that might be enough to get you to the finish line. But strength training is an important part of a triathlete's schedule, especially when endurance is such a big factor.

If the thought of taking a few extra minutes before and after your workout to help prevent injuries sounds like a stretch -- you're right. Though the experts don't agree on how much stretching really helps, there are some benefits.